Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

12Apr/210

Grief’s Home

Since my Bedside Yoga training retreat in late 2018 I've been thinking about grief living in a room in the heart. All grief comes into this tiny room, large at first and new. It takes a while, but slowly the edges of the grief become less sharp. The grief grows smaller, possibly fainter.

Each time a new grief enters the room, looming and crashing and heavy and sharp and hard, it awakens all the grief that's come before.

The old welcomes the new. The integration continues.

I tried making art about this the past couple of days.

Not teaching the next two days. Catching up on rest, chores, and email instead.

Grieving.

Losing three companion animals in 10 months while trying to survive a pandemic and planning to leave the country while your sewer needs repairs and your wife has a mystery autoimmune disorder is too much.

4Apr/210

When Nothing Feels Right

Dora has eaten a little today. A few tablespoons of boiled chicken breast and white rice mixed together. She went poop too, she's just been going out on our deck which is honestly easier on both of us than my carrying her up and down the stairs.

She's still really out of it, but the little bit of change is an improvement. She's sleeping in front of me at the moment I began this, in one of the dog beds in the living room. She stayed there much of the day, I'll lift her onto the bed when I go to bed soon.

I had a moment of grief overload this morning kicked off by a moment's reflection on the lousy way my first ex-husband behaved. It's something I'm really over, but just the reminder of it as Dora wasn't eating on top of the COVID fatigue and Igal's death anniversary soon upon us. It was all just too much for a moment.

I've also felt really down on myself today, like I can do nothing right. Earlier, after lunch, CK told me an idea for an easy dinner. I totally missed it and kept on trying to make something that took considerably longer and by the time it was done I then realized it wasn't sounding very good to her at all.

I'd made fried rice, but we've both been trying to get Dora to eat rice and chicken all day. Having had sticky rice on her hands all day, trying to have rice for dinner just wasn't working for her.

I'm feeling exhausted and dejected, but that wakes up a ferocious round of "the Whinnie" in me and I feel like I can do nothing right.

Trying to honor my desire to do my 30-Poems-in-30-Days by once again writing haiku. In the past I've tried to write them about nature, the seasons, the moon; more traditional topics. This year, inspired by a sympathy card a dear friend sent after the death of one of our cats, which contained a haiku from Massahide, I am trying to write them about the inner landscape.

Anger boils over,
Seething volcano fury,
Inside I am ash.

3Apr/210

Hoping for Pancreatitis

I took Dora to the vet before 8am this morning. She has "unremarkable" bloodwork and they can hear bowel sounds; making an obstruction unlikely. We're hoping it's only pancreatitis, which is manageable if we can get her over this flareup. She got more Cerenia and fluids and tablets of Cerenia came home with us.

That said, she still hasn't eaten anything. She's had some water, but is still clearly uncomfortable. I have reminders to give her medication at 11am so we stay on top of her symptoms.

I'm exhausted and the last thing I want to do is write poetry. I've also been failing at writing journals during the day. I napped, but then I stay up late to finish everything I'd wanted to get done.

I also realize we're coming up on the anniversary of Igal's death and I have this wave of spring sadness amidst the cherry blossoms. It's also this abrupt shift of my Mother's birthday celebration in Hawaii and a few weeks later Igal's death which seemed to trigger the rapid disintegration of her behavior.

April melancholy.
Cherry blossoms softly fall.
Tender memories.

2Apr/210

Grief Arrives

Last night we had some hope for Dora, the fluids and Cerenia had lifted her up so much that she was wagging her tail, eating, and drinking. It felt like we made the right decision bringing her home without the excessively priced blood work and x-ray.

This morning she once again refused food and really didn't drink water all day either. CK started giving her water from a dropper and Dora then decided she'd drink about 1/2 cup of water. Thankfully we did get through to our vet and they're seeing her tomorrow.

I carried her outside to pee tonight and upstairs to the bed afterward. She walked around outside and went pee alright. We're still kind of hoping she's got some kind of infection, since she had a mild fever, and will rebound back.

We're also painfully aware that we have a 15 year old dog and there's a good chance she might just be at the end of her life. CK and I have talked through our belief in not pursuing treatment for things like cancer requiring surgery, particularly in our older companions. As painful as it is, we both realize that often intensive care for companion animals is much more about the "parent" than it is about the happiness of the animal.

Being in this state of urgency around a companion's health for the third time in less than 10 months feels pretty wretched.

Grief Train

Grief arrives
Like a train.

Sometimes expected.
We're sad, but
Life was long,
Or
An illness made
Life a wretched thing.
The expected train arrives
Bearing the grief we
Were already grieving.

Other times, grief is a
Monster of steel that
Jumps the tracks
Right into your
Livingroom
And
You are lucky
If you avoided
All the flying
Debris.
Lucky to have
Survived yourself
Even if
Your life is
Forever changed.

Gentle, on time, expected
Or
A cataclysm.
Grief arrives, and
Arrives
For us all.

14Mar/210

Another Disappointing White Man

Today I caught the news that a teacher I've drawn inspiration from was investigated for sexual misconduct in 2012.

The claim was found to be valid and a mediation occurred. Later, when the person harmed left the teacher's foundation, she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the whole thing.

I'm so tried of this same old flavor of disappointment.

13Mar/210

Friday Night Blues

I am not teaching a workshop tomorrow so I'll have to find some other way to mark my pandemiversary. I suspect it will involve yard stuff and moving boxes of books into the van.

My friend was sent to the ER early this morning because she was so exhausted and having problems controlling her breath. After 3 hours she was seen and told she was still stick with COVID, not sick enough to need any other care.

I spent part of the day writing up notes asked making them accessible to her online. She said they were better post-visit notes than from her doctor. This is true because I could dedicate a couple of hours to just doing this work.

I also found out that I'm in the running to be one of the teachers for a yoga intervention study that's been funded! It's on fall prevention through yoga, targeted to rural older adults using technology to reach folks who don't have access to local resources. I'm so excited to be part of this and so anxious I won't be chosen.

I just feel so heavy tonight and continue to struggle with feeling like I get nothing done.

14Feb/210

Acquitted

It was a day that was careening a bit over individual and mutual grief over a pandemic that stretches onwards to summer as we're iced inside our home, going we don't lose power.

The the GOP acquitted T*. Just like they said they would.

I don't know why I'm so angry and despairing over something we knew was happening. The incomprehensible, incompetent, speedy defense was so for show since the Ghouls Only Party made up their minds to acquit.

My day has also been plagued by neck pain making it hard to turn my head and my right knee swelling for no reason I can recall.

Ice then snow then ice then snow, etc. meant no mail today. The Valentines I ordered should have arrived yesterday, but didn't. Now next week sometime. I'll save them for the belated cake we couldn't have this weekend because the bakery closed on account of snow.

Ursa offered uncomplicated nose boops and snuggles, thank goodness!

7Feb/210

I Hate This

CK has been experiencing surface numbness in her side, neck, arm, hand and hip. Can't feel water temperature correctly and has some pain.

We don't think it's anything life threatening, but it's still freaking me out somewhat. I really want CK to finally go see our physical therapist because I feel out of my depth to help with massage and traction.

She notes, "Not while there's COVID."

I spent 30 minutes angry-cleaning dishes as I couldn't stop crying. This happened late last night too, the tears just falling uncontrollably. I hate all of this pandemic life we're living.

I hate the panic I feel if I don't leave the house with my full respirator mask. I hate that we need to wear masks of any kind. I hate that people pull them off outdoors even though there are people around them. I hate that people won't wear masks at all.

I hate that they're not running drive-thru vaccine clinics 24x7. I hate that we don't even know when we can get vaccinated. I hate that there aren't enough vaccines. I hate that we're still having shortages of PPE and equipment like pipettes to do better testing.

I hate not feeling safe in this way. I hate takeaway and not dining out. I hate that they're trying to open up dining again.

I hate feeling exhausted by the thought of going into a store. I hate that being in a store is an exercise in anxiety. I hate not ever feeling safe to just dash up to the market to get something because i changed my mind about dinner.

I hate this.

I want to stand on the beach and hear nothing but waves and gulls. When I am damp and chilled to the bone I want to go into a cozy restaurant to have tea and pastries and french fries.

I want to hug people besides CK again and I'm not a hugger.

Ursa is sitting on my lap purring as I write this. Thank goodness for his sweetness.

I'm also enormously grateful for the beloved friend who offered to go to Costco for us. Since I had a panic attack and flashback in Costco last year, it's made it more tiring to go to than it already had been. I broke down in tears for the first time today when I got a text asking if it would help. At least those were a break of gratitude tears.

14Jan/210

What Fresh Hell

Today began with seeing a post from my teacher sharing that she had COVID.

Then a friend shared that her Dad died Monday from cancer. Alone at the hospital because of COVID.

T* was impeached again.

I finished my clean up of the utility room. The floor could use mopping, multiple passes, but it's been swept well and looks much better. I hauled a big bag of trash from the basement out to the bin and another from the garage. I also got a big stack of cardboard out for recycling too.

I mostly avoided news until the evening, when CK and I could partake, discuss, and integrate together. Cleaning took most of the afternoon and I managed a little work on budget stuff.

Then I found out my closest college friend woke up with a fever, cough, and chills. She's professional caregiver and just received word about her vaccination. She's awaiting results from a COVID test and isolating in her home, away from her family.

8Jan/210

Two Days, 8000+ Dead

COVID deaths are over 4000 a day.

I can't stop thinking about these numbers. How people who think it's a hoax urinated and defecated all over the Capitol Building. They stole, they killed, and desecrated.

People are finally taking this all seriously and it feels like they are too late.

I'm making up cocktails at home because I can and it's a creative outlet. I'm using my vintage barware, which is fun. Although I dropped the lid of the shaker and it vanished; perplexing.